While not every swimming pool is required to have handicap accessibility, such as backyard pools, the same thing cannot be said for pools that are located at hotels and other public areas. However, there could be a way that you may be able to benefit from making your own pool handicap accessible. For instance, a family member who is elderly or requires the use of a wheelchair due to mobility issues will definitely welcome easy access to a pool.
Regardless of the type of accessibility you decide to use for your pool, it’s important to remember that each one is held to different standards that have been established by the ADAAG, or the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessible Guidelines. Because of this, you should always ensure that the specific method that you choose fully complies with these.
Here are a few different methods that you can consider to help make your backyard pool more handicap accessible.
The handrails are considered to be the most important factor of this particular method, and they require specific measurements that are established by the ADAAG. The handrails and the stairs (which require both uniform riser heights and tread widths measuring no less than 11 inches) offer help with support and balance while an individual is standing up and moving from the deck of the pool into and out of the water.
There are all sorts of different designs that can be selected for mechanical pool lifts, all of which can be either motorized, manually operated, or battery-operated. These are designed to lift an individual from the deck of the pool and lower them into the water. To begin, the individual will sit in the seat as it is positioned over the pool’s deck. The lift’s arm will then over the pool before lowering the individual into the water, which will allow them to exit the chair. The chair itself will then be raised out of the water before the arm is swung back over the pool’s deck. If the individual wishes to get out of the pool, this process can simply be reversed. In terms of seats for these lifts, you can select either a chair seat or canvas seat.
Sloped Entry With Rail
Simply put, this method is a ramp that contains handrails, which leads directly into the pool. This enables individuals who deal with various types of mobility issues to get into the water using either a wheelchair or by walking and safely holding onto the rails.
This type of entry, which is also commonly referred to as “beach entry,” essentially combines a beach-type atmosphere with a pool entry that is safe and accessible for individuals of all ages and conditions. It has an entry or edge that will gradually slope down from the deck of the pool into the water, similar to the feeling of an actual beach. No ladders will be required for this method, as it will be extremely easy for individuals to both enter and exit the pool.
These are special types of wheelchairs that are specifically made to be used in water. As opposed to normal wheelchairs that contain batteries, electrical systems, or motors, aquatic wheelchairs will not get damaged in the water, nor will they contaminate the water in any way. The frames of these chairs can be made from materials such as PVC or stainless steel, while the seats can commonly be made out of mesh sling or a chair seat, and can also come with additional safety features such as a seatbelt.
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